© Oluwatosin Emmanuel Oyinloye
“Can someone tell me what’s happening here?” Evelyn asked in an angry tone, looking away from Steve to the other Agents inside. “Why would you want to question me and why are you heavily armed?”
“We won’t be questioning only, Agent Evelyn. If you don’t mind, we might also like to take a look around the house,” Steve replied.
“Why the heck would you do that? And you really think I would let you look around here?” Evelyn fumed.
“It’s okay, baby,” Dave moved closer to Evelyn and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s just listen to them and let them look around if they want to.”
Evelyn shot a look at Dave. “It’s not f****ng okay! We’re just going to listen to them but they aren’t looking around here.”
“Why would you not like us to look around? You’re not hiding something, are you?”
“It’s not your f***ing business if I hide anything here,” Evelyn fired at him. “This is neither your residence nor the government’s property. You’re not going around this house except you have a search warrant.”
Steve chuckled. “Can we proceed with our questions now, please?”
Evelyn remained quiet.
“Yes, please. You may take your seat if you wish,” Dave said calmly as he placed his arm around Evelyn’s shoulder and pulled her to the seat.
Meanwhile, in the control room
“Oh my God! They’re searching around,” Maxwell exclaimed.
Henry was sitting beside him and also watching the feeds. At the same time, he had an earphone plugged in his left ear which he was using to listen to the conversation going on in the living room with the FOX agents.
Only four of the men had gone into the house with Steve. The others who got into the compound had split and were looking carefully around the building as if they were searching for something.
“Do they have the right to do this?” Maxwell who was furious asked Henry.
“Of course not,” Henry replied calmly, his eyes fixed on the screen. “They’re so confident that they would find something.”
“And they would find something. Our laser plugs and security tools are all the building,” Maxwell said but Henry was quiet. “We need to stop them before they discover everything.”
Henry shot at a look at him. “No, we won’t stop them. If you do, you will be revealing yourself. They’re going to start investigating you too.”
Maxwell heaved a sigh of frustration. “Let them discover what they can.”
“It will place the house under further scrutiny,” Maxwell argued.
“We would find a solution after they’re gone,” Henry remained calm about it.
“F***! They even know that we’re watching them,” Maxwell remarked as one of the agents climbed on an object and looked directly towards the camera above.
“Yes, and they’re waiting for us to stop them or do something wrong.”
“Well, whether we do something wrong or not, we’re screwed already,” Maxwell grumbled. “I just feel like turning on the lasers and making one or two of them pay.”
“We can’t kill innocent people,” Henry suddenly said in a strong warning tone.
Maxwell widened his eyes at Henry in awe, seeing how suddenly serious he had become.
“Oh! Okay, I was just joking about turning on the lasers,” he quickly retracted his words.
Henry stared at him for a while and sighed. He then took out the earpiece from his ear. He removed the device from his pocket and placed it on the table. Then he increased the volume, enough for him and Maxwell to listen together.
In the living room
5 minutes after the questioning began
“Agent Evelyn, why did you and your family leave your previous apartment? We checked there earlier and didn’t find anyone there, that’s why we came here to look for you,” Steve turned to Evelyn after focusing on Henry for the first few minutes.
“Nothing,” Evelyn raised her brows. “Or is there anything wrong with moving in with my boyfriend?”
“Oh! There’s definitely nothing wrong. But it’s not just about you, your mother and little sister also moved from the place,” Steve continued.
“They felt like changing environment and they did.”
“So, where do they stay now?” Steve asked.
“Somewhere out of Bexford,” Evelyn answered.
“Out of Bexford? Why?”
“I think you should go straight to the point, Agent Steve. I don’t owe you any answers concerning my family decisions,” Evelyn shot at him.
“You’re right, Evelyn. We’re just a bit concerned about your family,” he stated and paused. “We have reasons to believe that you left with your family because there were threats to your life. A few days after you left, two men were found dead in the apartment. How did that happen?”
Evelyn narrowed her gaze at him, wondering how he got the information. She couldn’t think of a good response to give him quickly.
“You’re quiet, Agent Evelyn. Is there something you know but you aren’t saying?” Steve pushed further.
“The police are handling that and I don’t know how it happened,” she finally answered him.
“Is that why you left the apartment?”
“No, I told you already. My mom and sister left because they wanted to have a change of location. And I chose to come here as I won’t like to live alone.”
“But how come it happened the same time with the murders that took place in your apartment?” Steve had a mischievous smirk on his face. “Something tells me you knew those guys were coming and you decided to move out with your family before that.”
“Whatever you’re suggesting is wrong, Agent Steve. I gave you the right answers already,” Evelyn insisted.
“Then, who are those guys?”
“I don’t know,” Evelyn shrugged. “They could just be riff raffs who saw us leaving the house and decided to get in and steal something.”
“Oh! Then what killed them?” Steve asked. “If they went in to steal from you, I think they should have been successful with it since no one was in. But they died in the process. It makes me wonder what could have killed them.”
Evelyn was quiet.
“Easy… Evelyn, you’re falling into his trap already,” Henry muttered under his breath, wishing she could hear him warn her.
“Did Evelyn kill those men?” Maxwell questioned.
“No, she didn’t,” Henry glanced at him. “I think the Agent knows she didn’t.”
“So, why’s he troubling her?”
“It’s obvious he has two objectives there. He’s trying to waste her time to give enough room for his men to check around the house and get something meaningful. And he also wants to get her to say something he would use to prosecute her further. So far, he’s making progress and she’s falling for it.”
“But Evelyn is a FOX agent, she should be able to answer him without getting into his trap,” Maxwell said aloud, in a kind of thoughtful tone.
Henry turned his eyes to Maxwell. “It doesn’t matter that she’s a FOX agent. The FOX academy only teaches its students how to question suspects and get answers. It never teaches them how to answer as suspects because it doesn’t expect them to be in such positions.”
They both remained quiet for a while, still listening to the living room conversation when Maxwell raised an alarm.
“Damn! They just discovered one of our panels and they’re taking pictures of it already. We need to do something or the FOX may return here to ransack even the inner rooms soon. If that happens, we’re screwed”
“We do nothing,” Henry replied in a firm tone. “There’s nothing we can do to help the situation. It’s only going to make things worse.”
“You haven’t answered me, Agent Evelyn,” Steve stated.
“I told you already, I don’t know who they are or what killed them. It’s only unfortunate that they died in the apartment.”
Steve took a breath in and stared quietly at Evelyn’s face for a while.
“You said they were possibly riff raffs who wanted to steal something from the apartment. Is there something inside your apartment you think could have attracted them?”
Evelyn scoffed. “We had all our property there. Our furniture, TV, and other things were in the apartment. Any of those could be what they were after.”
“But was anything missing after they were found dead?”
Steve cleared his throat again. “So, riff raffs broke into your apartment to steal but they couldn’t take anything. Instead, one got a bullet in his chest and his belly and the other one was stabbed in the belly and the neck.”
Evelyn squinted her eyes at him for a moment as a thought came to her mind but she shook it off. “I don’t know who killed them or why they were there.”
“If you say so,” Steve shrugged. “But I’m still wondering why you have kept this information hidden from the FOX. I’m your direct boss, is there a reason I don’t know about it?”
Evelyn was silent for a while, staring back into Steve’s eyes as he stared at her. “I think the right question should be is there a reason why you should know about it?”
Steve widened his eyes, taken aback by her response.
“You gotta be kidding me, Evelyn. Something of sort happens to you and you told me nothing about it?”
“I don’t owe you any explanation for my personal life,” Evelyn shot at him.
“It’s not your f****ng personal life when it involves the lives of two men,” Steve fired back.
“Hey! Relax please,” Dave said to the both of them as the conversation was already getting heated. He glanced at Evelyn. “Please calm down, we can get this sorted out easily.”
Evelyn took in a deep breath while staring at Dave. She then turned her eyes to Steve. “If you have a problem regarding hierarchy with me, Agent, you will have to settle that with me at the office and not here. As far as I’m concerned, I’m done with this conversation.”
“We’re surely going to have this conversation at the office, Evelyn,” Steve said angrily as he bounced to his feet. “And you’re also going to explain the attempt on your life at the mall,” Steve paused and turned to Dave. “Your boyfriend here would also explain his involvement in the death of the men who attacked you at the mall that day,” he said with a cynic smile.
“Whatever, just get the bleep out of here,” Evelyn replied nonchalantly.
Steve stared at her and smiled. He had expected her to be moved by his revelation of how she got attacked at the mall but she seemed unbothered.
“Let’s go,” he turned to his men who were standing in the living room. After taking glances at Evelyn and Dave, he turned and proceeded towards the door.
A smile formed on his face as he realized he believed he had achieved his purpose. He had spent enough time for his men to check around the house and also gotten Evelyn in a position that revealed she had so many hidden secrets.
Dave got up and followed the Agents out, seeing to it that they all left before he returned. By the time he got back in, Evelyn was no longer in the living room. He walked towards the control room where he met everyone else waiting. They were quiet.
He looked straight at Evelyn and walked towards her.
“Hey! Don’t you think we could have handled it in a better manner?” he whispered to her.
She remained quiet and it was obvious she had a lot of thoughts running through her mind. He let out a sigh and shook his head when he realized she wasn’t going to answer him.
“What did Henry say about it?” he probed.
“He hasn’t mentioned a word since I got in here,” Evelyn answered him.
Dave looked towards Henry who was busy, sitting in front of another computer while Maxwell remained at the master system. They were both checking the footages like they were searching for something in particular. They all sat in silence until after seven minutes.
“I found it,” Henry announced loudly.
“Where?” Maxwell got up from his seat to stare at Henry’s screen.
“They didn’t put it in close to the gate as we expected. It’s in front of the house.”
“What? F***!” Maxwell exclaimed.
“Hey guys, listen up. I need everyone’s input here,” Henry called the attention of the team as he got up from his seat. “We’ve got to be careful now. These guys have placed a device at the front of the house. I think it’s a video and voice recording device. That means we have to do something urgently to it or we risk getting our faces captured.”
“Can we deactivate it or something?”Jennifer suggested.
“No, we won’t deactivate it. We just need to find a way not to get capture by the device,” Henry stated.
“We can cover it with something then,” Samantha put in.
“That’s exactly what we’re going to do!” Henry exclaimed with a thumb up to her. “But we can’t just cover it. It’s going to be obvious we did it on purpose.”
“Then, we should find a way to mistakenly cover it,” Dave joined.
“Yes, and you would do that for us,” Henry stated and then moved back towards the computer. “This is where the device is located,” he said, pointing to the screen.
The tiny device could be seen, just beside the main door.
“It was placed there to capture the faces of anyone going out or coming in,” Henry continued. “We need to cover it to make sure it doesn’t capture our faces. And even after it is covered, none of us would talk when we get close to the place. The only two people who can speak is Dave and Evelyn. If it records our voice. The FOX will try to run voice recognition.”
“But they can’t just identify us with our voices, they don’t know us before,” Jennifer countered.
“They can’t identify you immediately,” Evelyn was the one who answered. “But they would identify you as long as you keep talking in public places, except you want to stay mute.”
“That’s right, Evelyn,” Henry agreed and turned to her. “But what happened there? You got angry and almost lost it.”
“I didn’t almost lose it, I lost it,” Evelyn corrected, knowing that Henry was just trying not to sound too harsh with words.
“I’m glad you agree,” Henry cleared his throat. “So, what happened? You might have just complicated things for all of us. The FOX would give more attention to this building.”
“I can make Steve back off,” Evelyn replied.
“How? He doesn’t look like someone who’s going to back off easily,” Henry retorted.
“Yes, he wouldn’t back off easily but I will make him do so. You have to trust me,” Evelyn pleaded.
“How quick can you handle it? Because we have to proceed on our plans for tomorrow and the last thing we need now is the FOX watching us.”
“I will handle it before noon tomorrow,” Evelyn replied.
“Okay then, let’s get back to plans for tomorrow.”
The Next Morning
“Good morning, honey,” Evelyn smiled at a female colleague as she walked towards her office. She was dressed in a black skirt suit that morning and had just styled her hair differently.
She was just a few metres to her office when she saw Steve walking from another direction towards the office.
“Good morning, Agent Evelyn,” Steve said as they approached each other.
“Good morning, Agent Steve,” she greeted reluctantly. He was one person she didn’t wish to see that morning.
“It’s almost half-past eleven and you’re just resuming today,” he remarked as he glanced at his wristwatch.
“Yeah, I sent in a mail that I was going to come in late. I had to style my hair this morning.”
Steve took a look at her hair and noticed she had truly styled it differently. But he was convinced it had nothing to do with why she came late. She could have styled it the night before.
“Since when did FOX agents styling their hairs on a workday morning.”
“I needed to do it, sir,” Evelyn replied impatiently. “Is there something else you would like to discuss with me, sir? If you don’t mind, I have some work to do in my office.”
Steve chuckled. “I would advise you see me in my office right away before you start any work,” he said in a warning tone. “It’s for your good.”
He didn’t wait for her reply before he turned and walked back to his office. Evelyn walked in to drop her bags and then proceeded to his office.
Steve was standing at his cabinet, picking out some files when she walked in. She stopped at the visitors’ side without sitting and watched him take his time before giving her attention.
“Will you explain to me what I need to know now or do I take the steps I should have taken?” Steve began after he dropped the files he picked on the table.
“I don’t understand you, sir,” Evelyn feigned ignorance. “What steps would you have taken?”
Steve shot a look at her and then stepped closer. He stared directly into her eyes. “Don’t mess with me, Evelyn. I have enough evidence to prove that you’re working with the Wolves. If I submit them, you’re going down immediately.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about sir,” Evelyn maintained her cool.
Steve scoffed and then stepped back. “Alright, I’ll explain them to you for the last time. Firstly, it happened that you were attacked in a mall by assassins but unknown men appeared and saved you. A day after that, two men were found dead in your former apartment. You reported none of these to your team leaders nor the FOX.”
“I didn’t report it to you but it doesn’t mean I didn’t report it at all,” Evelyn replied.
Steve chuckled. “And who did you report it to?”
“Someone who is your superior.”
“We don’t joke with hierarchy in the FOX. If you had reported it to a superior, you would have been told to come to me.”
“And what if I was told to ignore you?”
He laughed briefly and shook his head. “Then, you and the Agent whom you reported to are in a big mess,” he answered in an irritated voice. “I’m not supposed to be having this conversation with you. I believe you will give the right answers when you face the panel of executives before you’re sent to jail.”
With that, he picked the files he dropped on the table and proceeded towards the door.
Evelyn turned and stared at him as he walked. He had gotten to the door and was about to open it when she spoke.
“Make sure you also told them how you killed the two men in my apartment.”
Steve froze at the sound of her words. He felt some chills down his spine as his hand trembled on the knob. She couldn’t have known he killed the men for real, could she? He asked himself. She was just trying to be smart, he concluded.
“What the heck are you talking about?” he turned and gazed at her.
She proceeded towards him and stopped right in front of him.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about,” Evelyn locked her eyes with his. “You stabbed one in the belly and the neck. The second one was shot in his chest and belly, and you pulled the trigger.”
Steve blinked as he realized how he messed up. He had mistakenly described how the men died to Evelyn when he was questioning her the previous night.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about, Evelyn. I got that information from the police,” he tried to deny.
“So, why not tell me the name of the police officer in charge?” She asked and folded her arms across her chest.
Steve squirmed. “Ermm…I can’t remember his name, but I spoke to him…some…time this week,” he stammered. “He told me how the men got killed.”
“The inspector in charge is a woman and not a man,” Evelyn stated.
Steve was dumbfounded. There was nothing else to say as she had caught him pants down.
“I didn’t go to style my hair this morning,” She continued. “I was at the police station. None of the team involved in the case had ever seen you, neither did they know who you are.”
She stopped and stared at him for a while. Then, she turned back and walked to the table again. “Tell me, Steve. For how long have you been following me?”
Steve remained quiet. It was her first time calling him by the name at office hours and it sounded disrespectful to him. However, he was in a position that truly deserved the disrespect.
“I don’t know why you have been following me or whom you think I am but I must applaud you for watching me for so long without getting me suspicious,” she continued. “I used to think you were my friend, never knew you were trying to bring me down.”
She picked the pen she had dropped on the table and walked back to his front.
“This is bigger than you, Steve. I advise you to stay calm and do your job. If you interfere with my business again, you could go down for it. I’ll like to take my leave now,” she eyed him as she concluded.
He stepped forward for her to gain access to the door. He didn’t turn back even as she opened the door and stepped out of the office.
Two minutes passed by and he remained transfixed, thinking about what had just happened. Angrily, he slammed the files with him to the ground and clenched his fists. He began to pace around the office angrily.
Evelyn couldn’t outsmart him, he thought. She works with the Wolves while he is one of the good guys that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He believed that he could be exonerated if he proved to the FOX that she was the mole. It wasn’t time to give up yet.
An idea popped into his mind and he remembered something. Quickly, he picked up the file and placed it on the table. He then headed out of the office.
“Hey! Good morning,” Steve greeted a junior agent after hurrying into one of the open offices. “Can we check if the camera has captured other faces?”
“Good morning, sir,” the agent answered, surprised to see Steve so early.
“Just answer me, have there been other faces?”
“No, just Evelyn and the boyfriend has come out of the house this morning,” the agent replied.
“Okay, keep watching then and let me know when you see someone else,” Steve turned to leave.
“Sir, I think we’ve got a problem.”
“What problem?” Steve turned back.
“The camera has been covered by something.”
“What something?” Steve frowned.
“A sticker, I guess.”
“This morning, Evelyn’s boyfriend went out and returned with an electrician to fix something. But he walked out of the house again before the electrician could leave. I think the electrician finished the job and wanted to leave. So he stuck a piece above the camera which I believe carries the instruction for use of whatever he installed in the house.”
“I thought you said no one has gone in or out of the house.”
“I said no one else went out of the house. The electrician was an outsider.”
“And the camera didn’t capture the electrician’s face?”
“Run a check on the electrician and let’s find him. He must be one of them.”
Steve left the place frustrated. He knew it was possible they had seen the camera and had to find a way to cover it. But if that was the case, that would mean they couldn’t have let it show the face of someone else. Then, it would mean the electrician may not be one of them.
Evelyn may have won in that aspect again. But there was still one thing Steve was sure of. He had kept surveillance outside the gate. And there’s no way Evelyn and her gang would escape that.
“Gentlemen, I’ve got some news from Michael,” Kahn announced as he walked into the room where Chanda and Hutton were seated. They both turned their attention to him. “We’ve just got a location where Carl Winston could be hiding.”
“Where and how?” Hutton asked eagerly.
“In Bethanna,” Kahn replied. “Agent Steve traced his colleague, Evelyn, there.”
“What if Carl isn’t there?” Chanda asked.
“With the level of security system reported to be there, Carl Winston can’t be anywhere else.”
“There’s only one way to confirm,” Hutton got up from his seat.
“We attack there tonight?” Kahn guessed.
“No, he would be prepared for an attack by night. We attack them immediately.”
To be continued